Variable Topics Research Seminars for Majors: Politics
Winter 2016 - Professor Anderson really cares about his students, but goes about it in a pretty rude way. He is really blunt and laughs at students' responses to his questions. The class on the whole was easy, though. Each week you have to write a 500 word (usually less) response on the CCLE forum and respond to 3 classmates' posts, attend lecture, and at the end of the class you have to turn in a 5000 word essay. He never told us the breakdown of the grades, so I'm not sure of the percentages for each of those. He is really confusing when talking about the paper, but if you go to office hours he makes a lot more sense. He goes on a lot of tangents to his days in politics and they're interesting but not really applicable to the class. Update: the whole grade is your paper and he grades it incredibly arbitrarily. Do not take. Also HE BRINGS HIS DOG TO CLASS :)
Spring 2015 - Updated 09-12-2017: * Book: I have "Overreach: Leadership in the Obama Presidency by Edwards" in mint condition. No writing or marks inside. Cover is mint. Never used. Text me at 818 Five One Four Five Two Zero Five. * I'll remove this post once the book sells, so text or call if you're interested in the book.
Fall 2022 - Review is for 191C - Magna Carta Please don’t let professor Orren’s reviews for other courses stop you from taking this class. I cannot speak for her skill as a lecturer, but she was an excellent leader of this seminar style class. The subject matter definitely isn’t for everyone. The course covers the social and political conditions in England leading up to Magna Carta and subsequent interpretation and reference to the document. Your participation will make or break if this class is enjoyable for you. There were two required verbal reports (averaged about 30 minutes of report/discussion), so your ability to put in work doing independent literature review and speaking about it is important. The cumulative paper was essentially a synthesis of existing research on a Magna Carta chapter or adjacent topic you find interesting. The class is small enough where the professor will just naturally ask you what you thought of any given week’s reading. I would not recommend this class if you are participation adverse for whatever reason. That said, this is by no means a hard class. the final paper is 10-15 pages double spaced, and it’s the only real deliverable other than completing the weekly readings and the two verbal reports. You can take the paper in pretty much whatever direction interests you if there’s the existing research to back it up. Professor Orren is very understanding if you communicate your needs to her regarding missing a class or extensions on your reports. Again, this class isn’t for everyone. I’m not even sure if professor Orren will ever teach it again. But if you think the subject matter sounds mildly interesting like I did and you’re willing to participate in the discussions, I would absolutely recommend taking it.
Winter 2019 - I loved this seminar so much, particularly because Zaller loves his work and wants other people to love it just as much as him. It did require a good amount of writing, but you were able to work with a partner and the topics were very interesting! I genuinely enjoyed taking this course and would recommend if you are interested in political parties!